US8554866B2 - Measurement in data forwarding storage - Google Patents

Measurement in data forwarding storage Download PDF

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US8554866B2
US8554866B2 US13119147 US200913119147A US8554866B2 US 8554866 B2 US8554866 B2 US 8554866B2 US 13119147 US13119147 US 13119147 US 200913119147 A US200913119147 A US 200913119147A US 8554866 B2 US8554866 B2 US 8554866B2
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data
data items
network
forwarded
computer system
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US20110167127A1 (en )
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Gene Fein
Edward Merritt
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Callahan Cellular LLC
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Tajitshu Transfer LLC
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30067File systems; File servers
    • G06F17/30182File system types
    • G06F17/30194Distributed file systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/104Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for peer-to-peer [P2P] networking; Functionalities or architectural details of P2P networks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/104Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for peer-to-peer [P2P] networking; Functionalities or architectural details of P2P networks
    • H04L67/1061Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for peer-to-peer [P2P] networking; Functionalities or architectural details of P2P networks involving node-based peer discovery mechanisms
    • H04L67/1063Discovery through centralizing entities
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/104Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for peer-to-peer [P2P] networking; Functionalities or architectural details of P2P networks
    • H04L67/1074Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for peer-to-peer [P2P] networking; Functionalities or architectural details of P2P networks for supporting resource transmission mechanisms
    • H04L67/1076Resource dissemination mechanisms or network resource keeping policies for optimal resource availability in the overlay network

Abstract

Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, for measurement in data forwarding storage. A method includes, in a network of interconnected computer system nodes, receiving a request from a source system to store data, directing the data to a computer memory, storing information about the data in a store associated with a central server, and continuously forwarding the data and the store from one computer memory to another computer memory in the network of interconnected computer system nodes without storing on any physical storage device in the network.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a U.S. National Phase of International Application No. PCT/US2009/058376, filed Sep. 25, 2009 which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/240,991, filed Sep. 29, 2008, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,636,761, entitled “MEASUREMENT IN DATA FORWARDING STORAGE,”, each of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

At least some embodiments disclosed herein relate to data storage, and more particularly, to measurement in data forwarding storage.

The volume of data that must be stored by individuals, organizations, businesses and government is growing every year. In addition to just keeping up with demand, organizations face other storage challenges. With the move to on-line, real-time business and government, critical data must be protected from loss or inaccessibility due to software or hardware failure. Today, many storage products do not provide complete failure protection and expose users to the risk of data loss or unavailability. For example, many storage solutions on the market today offer protection against some failure modes, such as processor failure, but not against others, such as disk drive failure. Many organizations are exposed to the risk of data loss or data unavailability due to component failure in their data storage system.

The data storage market is typically divided into two major segments, i.e., Direct Attached Storage (DAS) and Network Storage. DAS includes disks connected directly to a server.

Network Storage includes disks that are attached to a network rather than a specific server and can then be accessed and shared by other devices and applications on that network. Network Storage is typically divided into two segments, i.e., Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Network Attached Storage (NAS).

A SAN is a high-speed special-purpose network (or subnetwork) that interconnects different kinds of data storage devices with associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users. Typically, a SAN is part of the overall network of computing resources for an enterprise. A storage area network is usually clustered in close proximity to other computing resources but may also extend to remote locations for backup and archival storage, using wide area (WAN) network carrier technologies.

NAS is hard disk storage that is set up with its own network address rather than being attached to the local computer that is serving applications to a network's workstation users. By removing storage access and its management from the local server, both application programming and files can be served faster because they are not competing for the same processor resources. The NAS is attached to a local area network (typically, an Ethernet network) and assigned an IP address. File requests are mapped by the main server to the NAS file server.

All of the above share one common feature that can be an Achilles tendon in more ways than one, i.e., data is stored on a physical medium, such as a disk drive, CD drive, and so forth.

SUMMARY OF THE DESCRIPTION

The present invention provides methods and apparatus, including computer program products, for measurement in data forwarding storage.

In general, in one aspect, the invention features, a method including, in a network of interconnected computer system nodes, receiving a request from a source system to store data, directing the data to a computer memory, storing information about the data in a store associated with a central server, and continuously forwarding the data and the store from one computer memory to another computer memory in the network of interconnected computer system nodes without storing on any physical storage device in the network. The continuously forwarding can include determining an address of a node available to receive the data and the store based on one or more factors, sending a message to the source system with the address of a specific node for the requester to forward the data or store, detecting a presence of the data or the store in memory of the specific node, and forwarding the data or store to another computer memory of a node in the network of interconnected computer system nodes without storing any physical storage device.

The details of one or more implementations of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Further features, aspects, and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the FIGs. of the accompanying drawings in which like references indicate similar elements.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary network.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an exemplary user system.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an exemplary network system.

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a process.

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a process.

FIG. 6 is a flow diagram of a process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Unlike peer to peer networks, which use data forwarding in a transient fashion so that data is eventually stored on a physical medium such as a disk drive, the present invention is a continuous data forwarding system, i.e., data is stored by continually forwarding it from one node memory to another node memory.

As shown in FIG. 1, an exemplary network 10 includes a user system 12 and a number of network systems 14, 16, 18, 20, 22. Each of the network systems 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 can be considered to be a node in the network 10 and one such network system may be designated as a central server, such as network system 14, which may assume a control position in network 10. Each of the nodes 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 may be established as a privately controlled network of peers under direct control of the central server 14. Peered nodes may also be a mix of private and public nodes, and thus not under the direct physical control of the central server 14. The network 10 may also be wholly public where the central server 14 (or servers) has no direct ownership or direct physical control of any of the peered nodes.

As shown in FIG. 2, the user system 12 can include a processor 30, memory 32 and input/output (I/O) device 34. Memory 32 can include an operating system (OS) 36, such as Linux, Apple® OS or Windows®, one or more application processes 38, and a storage process 100, explained in detail below. Application processes 38 can include user productivity software, such as OpenOffice or Microsoft® Office. The I/O device 34 can include a graphical user interface (GUI) 40 for display to a user 42.

As shown in FIG. 3, each of the network systems, such as network system 14, can include a processor 50 and memory 52. Memory 52 can include an OS 54, such as Linux, Apple® OS or Windows®, and a data forwarding process 200, explained in detail below.

In traditional systems, application processes 38 need to store and retrieve data. In these traditional systems, data is stored on local or remote physical devices. And in some systems, this data can be segmented into different pieces or packets and stored locally or remotely on physical mediums of storage. Use of fixed physical data storage devices add cost, maintenance, management and generate a fixed physical record of the data, whether or not that is the desire of the user 42.

The present invention does not use fixed physical data storage to store data. When a request to store data is received by the central server 14 from storage process 100, data is directed to a node in the network 10 where it is then continuously forwarded from node memory to node memory in the network 10 by the data forwarding process 200 in each of the network nodes without storing on any physical storage medium such as a disk drive. The forwarded data resides only for a very brief period of time in the memory of any one node in the network 10. Data is not stored on any physical storage medium in any network node.

In a like manner, when a request to retrieve data is received by the central server 14 from storage process 100, the requested data, which is being forwarded from node memory to node memory in the network 10, is retrieved.

Data forwarded in this manner can be segmented and segments forwarded as described above. Still, the segmented data is not stored on any physical storage medium in any network node, but merely forwarded from the memory of one node to the memory of another node.

As shown in FIG. 4, storage process 100 includes sending (102) a request to a central server 14 to store or retrieve data. If the request is a retrieve data request, storage process 100 receives the requested data from the central server 14 or node in the network.

If the request to the central server 14 is a store data request, storage process 100 receives (104) an address of a node from the central server 14 and forwards (106) the data to the node memory represented by the received address.

Data forwarded in the network can be measured. For example, the central server 14 maintains a store of data statistics each time new data is requested to be forwarded in the network. The store can be a flat file, a table, or a database file, and is continuously forwarded from node memory to node memory in the network with storage on any physical medium, such as a disk drive. Contents of the store record each time a file is requested to be forwarded, it's owner, it's type, and/or additional information. In this manner, the central server 14 can generate a list of useful information when requested. More particularly, the central server 14 can account for the number of files, the number of file types, and the gross amount of data (e.g., megabytes) in the system as a whole, or owned per user of group of users. The central server 14 tracks data added and removed from the network using the store. The central server 14 can generate a list of all data being forwarded in the network, and/or data being forwarded by a specific user or group of users.

As shown in FIG. 5, data forwarding process 200 includes receiving (202) a request to store or retrieve data. If the received request is a request to store data, data forwarding process 200 determines (204) an address of a node available to receive the data in memory. This determination (204) can include pinging the network and determining which of the nodes in a network is available, or determining which node in the network has the least traffic, or determining which node in the network has the largest available memory, or any combination of these or other factors.

Process 200 sends (206) a message to the user system with the address of a specific node for the requester to forward the data and saves (207) information relating to the data in a local store. The information can include, for example, the data type, the owner, the size, and so forth.

Process 200 detects (208) the presence of data in node memory. Process 200 forwards (210) the data in memory to another node in the network of nodes and continues to repeat detecting (208) and forwarding (210) of the data from node memory to node memory. When data arrives in any node memory, process 200 affixes (212) a time stamp to the data.

Forwarding (210) can include pinging the node in the network to determine which of the nodes in the network is available, or determining which node in the network has the least traffic, or determining which node in the network has the largest available memory, or any combination of these or other factors.

In one specific example, at the point of entry to a node, data undergoes an encrypted “handshake” with the node or central server 14 or user. This can be a public or private encryption system, such as the Cashmere system, which can use public-private keys. Cashmere decouples the encrypted forwarding path and message payload, which improves the performance as the source only needs to perform a single public key encryption on each message that uses the destination's unique public key. This has the benefit that only the true destination node will be able to decrypt the message payload and not every node in the corresponding relay group. Cashmere provides the capability that the destination can send anonymous reply messages without knowing the source's identity. This is done in a similar way, where the source creates a reply path and encrypts it in a similar manner as the forwarding path.

In another example, other routing schemes are utilized.

If the received request is a request to retrieve data being continuously forwarded from node memory to node memory, data forwarding process 200 matches (214) at the central server 14 using a hash mark or other unique code that can be “sniffed” by the node upon the data entering the node via the encryption handshake. This can occur by pinging the nodes in the network. Process 200 sends (216) the message to return the data to the user directly to the node or node state where the central server 14 believes the data will likely appear and removes (217) the information relating to the data from the store on the central server 14. The more the central server 14 can narrow the node state that it pings to, then the more efficient the retrieval will become and the less burdened by unnecessary messaging traffic to nodes that are not necessary for a transaction between the central server 14 and the node capable of forwarding the data.

Once the correct node receives the message to forward the data in node memory to the requester, process 200 forwards (218) in node memory the data to the requester and forwards (220) a confirmation message that the data has been sent to the user. This routing message may be sent directly to the central server 14 or may be passed to the central server 14 or servers via other node(s) or supernode(s) in the network 10. Upon the user receiving the requested data the user's application functions to automatically ping the central server 14 that the data requested has been received. Thus the network 10 creates data storage without caching, downloading and/or storing the data on any physical storage medium. Data storage and management is accomplished via a continuous routing of the data from node memory to node memory, the forwarded data only downloaded when the user requests the data to be returned to the user from the network 10.

New nodes and node states may be added and/or deleted from the network 10 based upon performance. Users may have access to all nodes or may be segmented to certain nodes or “node states” by the central server(s) or via the specific architecture of the private, public or private-public network.

Individual nodes, nodes states and supernodes may also be extranet peers, wireless network peers, satellite peered nodes, Wi-Fi peered nodes, broadband networks, and so forth, in public or private networks. Peered nodes or users may be used as routing participants in the network 10 from any valid peer point with the same security systems employed, as well as custom solutions suitable for the rigors of specific deployments, such as wireless encryption schemes for wireless peers, and so forth.

In process 200, rather than have data cached or held in remote servers, hard drives or other fixed storage medium, the data are passed, routed, forwarded from node memory to node memory. The data are never downloaded until the authorized user calls for the data. A user on the system may authorize more than one user to have access to the data.

A primary goal in process 200 is to generate a data storage and management system where the data is never fixed in physical storage, but in fact, is continually being routed/forwarded from node memory to node memory in the network. The path of the nodes to which data is forwarded may also be altered by the central server 14 to adjust for system capacities and to eliminate redundant paths of data that may weaken the security of the network due to the increased probability of data path without this feature.

As shown in FIG. 6, an data information process 300 executing in the central server 14 includes receiving (302) a request for data information. Data information resides in a store in the central management and can include, for example, data types, the owners, groups of owners, sizes, and so forth.

Process 300 parses (304) the request to determine what is being requested. Once it is determined what is requested, process 300 generates (306) a report from information in the store and forwards (308) the report to the requester. The report can represent the total number of data being forwarded in the network, the total size of the data being forwarded in the network, the number and/or size of specific data types being forwarded in the network, the number, size and/or types of data for a particular user or group of users, and so forth.

The invention can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. A network creates data storage without caching or downloads. Data storage and management are accomplished via a constant routing of the data.

Embodiments of the invention can be implemented in digital electronic circuitry, or in computer hardware, firmware, software, or in combinations of them. Embodiments of the invention can be implemented as a computer program product, i.e., a computer program tangibly embodied in an information carrier, e.g., in a machine readable storage device, for execution by, or to control the operation of, data processing apparatus, e.g., a programmable processor, a computer, or multiple computers. A computer program can be written in any form of programming language, including compiled or interpreted languages, and it can be deployed in any form, including as a stand alone program or as a module, component, subroutine, or other unit suitable for use in a computing environment. A computer program can be deployed to be executed on one computer or on multiple computers at one site or distributed across multiple sites and interconnected by a communication network.

Method steps of embodiments of the invention can be performed by one or more programmable processors executing a computer program to perform functions of the invention by operating on input data and generating output. Method steps can also be performed by, and apparatus of the invention can be implemented as, special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit).

Processors suitable for the execution of a computer program include, by way of example, both general and special purpose microprocessors, and any one or more processors of any kind of digital computer. Generally, a processor will receive instructions and data from a read only memory or a random access memory or both. The essential elements of a computer are a processor for executing instructions and one or more memory devices for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or be operatively coupled to receive data from or transfer data to, or both, one or more mass storage devices for storing data, e.g., magnetic, magneto optical disks, or optical disks. Information carriers suitable for embodying computer program instructions and data include all forms of non volatile memory, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, e.g., EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks, e.g., internal hard disks or removable disks; magneto optical disks; and CD ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in special purpose logic circuitry.

It is to be understood that the foregoing description is intended to illustrate and not to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the scope of the appended claims. Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A method comprising:
receiving requests from one or more computing systems to store respective data items;
in response to receiving the requests, storing information about the data items in a data structure, the information comprising, for respective data items, attributes indicating one or more of an owner of the data item, a size of the data item, or a type of the data item; and
initiating, by a computing system, forwarding of the data items between computer system nodes in a network of computer system nodes without storing the data items on any fixed storage medium in the network, wherein computer system nodes to which the data items are respectively forwarded are determined dynamically based on statuses of respective computer system nodes and/or one or more statuses of the network.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
generating, by the computing system, a summary of one or more attributes of multiple data items based on information in the data structure.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
receiving a request to retrieve a particular data item being forwarded in the network of computer system nodes;
retrieving the particular data item from one or more of the computer system nodes; and
deleting information about the particular data item form the data structure.
4. The method of claim 2, wherein the one or more attributes of multiple data items comprises one or more of a number of data items being forwarded, a number of data item types being forwarded, a number representing a physical size of all data items being forwarded, user-specific information, or group-specific information.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
initiating, by the computing device, forwarding of the data structure between computer system nodes in the network of computer system nodes without storing the data structure on any fixed storage medium in the network.
6. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
in response to initiating forwarding of respective data items, increasing a total data added size indicator stored in the data structure by a size of the respective data items.
7. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
in response to a request for retrieval of respective data items, increasing a total data removed size indicator stored in the data structure by a size of the respective data items.
8. The method of claim 2, wherein the summary comprises a list of data items forwarded in the network.
9. The method of claim 2, wherein the summary comprises a list of data items associated with a particular user that are forwarded in the network.
10. The method of claim 2, wherein the summary comprises a list of data items associated with a particular group of users that are forwarded in the network.
11. The method of claim 2, wherein the summary comprises information regarding one or more specific types of data items that are forwarded in the network.
12. The method of claim 2, wherein the one or more attributes of multiple data items included in the summary are selected by a user requesting the summary.
13. A non-signal computer-readable medium having instructions encoded thereon, wherein the instructions are readable by a computing system in order to cause the computing system to perform operations comprising:
receiving requests from one or more computing systems to store respective data items;
in response to receiving the requests, storing information about the data items in a data structure, the information comprising, for respective data items, attributes indicating one or more of an owner of the data item, a size of the data item, or a type of the data item; and
initiating forwarding of the data items between computer system nodes in a network of computer system nodes without storing the data items on any fixed storage medium in the network, wherein computer system nodes to which the data items are respectively forwarded are determined dynamically based on statuses of respective computer system nodes and/or one or more statuses of the network.
14. The non-signal computer-readable medium of claim 13, wherein the operations further comprise:
generating a report comprising a summary of one or more attributes of data items based on information in the data structure.
15. The non-signal computer-readable medium of claim 14, wherein the one or more attributes of data items comprises one or more of a number of data items being forwarded, a number of data item types being forwarded, a number representing a physical size of all data items being forwarded, user-specific information, or group-specific information.
16. The non-signal computer-readable medium of claim 13, wherein the operations further comprise:
initiating forwarding of the data structure between computer system nodes in the network of computer system nodes without storing the data structure on any fixed storage medium in the network.
17. The non-signal computer-readable medium of claim 13, wherein the operations further comprise:
in response to initiating forwarding of respective data items, increasing a total data added size indicator stored in the data structure by a size of the respective data items.
18. A computing system comprising:
one or more hardware processor configured to execute instructions;
a computer readable medium storing instruction configured for execution by the one or more processors in order to cause the computing system to:
receive request from one or more computing system to store respective data items;
in response to receiving the request, store information about the data items in a data structure, the information comprising, for respective data items, attributes indicating one or more of an owner of the data item, a size of the data item, or a type of the data item; and
initiate forwarding of the data items between computer system nodes in a network of computer system nodes without storing the data items on any fixed storage medium in the network, wherein computer system nodes to which the data items are respectively forwarded are determined dynamically based on statuses of respective computer system nodes and/or one or more statuses of the network.
19. The computing system of claim 18, wherein the instructions are further configured to cause the computing system to generate a report comprising a summary of one or more attributes of data items based on information in the data structure.
20. The computing system of claim 19, wherein the one or more attributes of data items comprises one or more of a number of data items being forwarded, a number of data item types being forwarded, a number representing a physical size of all data items being forwarded, use-specific information, or group-specific information.
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US7636761B1 (en) 2008-09-29 2009-12-22 Gene Fein Measurement in data forwarding storage
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